From author David Wake:
At the end of the film The Time Machine, Filby and the Housekeeper realise that three books are missing from the shelf. They have been taken into the future!
There’s a scheme by Porcupine Books at the next Eastercon for people to give a short talk on a book that has influenced them. I’m one of the writers due to whiffle on about a book, but not one of the following three.
. . . .
What are [three books that influenced my life], I wonder.
I think they are The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, Introduction to Pascal (Second Edition) by Jim Welsh and John Elder and Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran. It’s rather an odd collection now I write it down.
The Day of the Triffids is also rather a stand-in. I could have chosen The Chrysalides, also by Wyndham, or any number of others. I trying to recall that book that got me into Science Fiction, but I’m not sure I remember it or that there even was one.
. . . .
On the other hand, Introduction to Pascal was the manual of a life change. I went to University to do Civil Engineering – mad idea, what was I thinking – and I realised my enormous mistake about four weeks into the course. Somewhere I have the very fluid mechanics test that left me high and dry, and pushed me over the edge and into deep water – as it were. I turned the page over and made notes on the back as I went through the University prospectus to find an alternative course, any alternative course. So, after Anthropology, Astrology, Astronomy, Biology and Carpentry had all turned me down, Computer Science was next in the alphabet. They accepted me on a Friday to start the following Monday. I was four weeks behind, I panicked.
. . . .
During the first workshop on programming, we were given twelve questions and I was hopelessly stuck on Question 6. You can’t turn a computer round and make notes on the back about Cover Design, Drama, Education or English Language. (As if I’d do any of those.) Oh god, I thought, I have just wasted my life.
I turned to one of my brand new colleagues and whispered, “I’m stuck on Question 6 – help!”
“What!” they replied, “but we’re all stuck on Question 2.”
I love programming in Pascal, still do, even though it’s now hidden in an IDE called Lazarus.
Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran did change my life.
. . . .
We got chatting, I started to give him lifts home and he said I should self-publish.
“Oh, but isn’t that vanity publishing.”
“No, not at all, read this ebook by David Gaughran.”
So I did. Interesting, I thought. By page 5, I thought I must get a Kindle one day; by page 10, it was on my Christmas list; by page 15, I’d ordered one and by page 20, I was coding in html. My conversation from occasional playwright to committed indie publisher was faster than someone with a road map to Damascus asking for a bit of light to read by.
Link to the rest at Write Click and thanks to Andy for the tip.
Here’s a link to David Wake’s books